Walking Tall. Janet continues to improve. #TSJ

We all know how much easier it is to get up when it’s sunny outside and it was interesting to see how that played on Janet this morning. She wasn’t too excited about getting up and let me shower so she could lay in bed a while longer and enjoy the sun shining on her. If it had been cloudy I’m sure she would have gone back to sleep. With the new swimming time we were able to have a more leisurely breakfast and even make sandwiches to eat in the car for lunch so we could get to Connect at a decent time for her nap this afternoon.

Today was the first day of the official one hour pool sessions and I checked the list as soon as we got to the pool to make sure Janet`s name was there. It was, then Jess arrived and into the water we went. Because we had so much time I was able to let Janet get totally warm and relaxed before doing any real exercises. That seemed to work well for her as when I did ask her to kick her legs she was getting two or three toes out of the water on her left foot. She had done that before but not consistently and not first thing like that either. We tried “walking” with me in front balancing her and she made it an entire length of the pool! I’m guessing twenty feet. Janet was all concentration as she stepped with her left leg then mostly dragged the right one along. She did put a little weight on that right leg and later on got it going more during some standing exercises. Jess lifted the pool to allow the others out and two new people in for the next session and once we were back in the water I let Janet warm up again but this time I intentionally held her as little as possible. The more I let go the more she started using her arm and legs to stay afloat and at one point I only had one finger under her right shoulder preventing her from listing. That’s the closest she’s been to floating on her own. I did let her go completely a little while late but she panicked as soon as her face went under. Work in progress. During the second session she completed another length of the pool “walking” and did some strong standing exercises.

The drive to Connect after swimming was pleasant with the sunroof open and sandwiches being eaten. We had one stop to make along the way and that was to the lab to get her Dilantin levels checked. We’ll get the results at a doctor’s appointment Thursday and hopefully get an idea of when we can see the neurologist.

Janet was very much ready for a nap as we arrived at Connect later than I had hoped but she managed a decent rest before happy hour in the sun. Dinner went well but Janet had a meltdown over drinking water and was the most defiant with me she’s been. It only lasted fifteen minutes or so and she ended up drinking enough water but was not happy about it. Bob took her to the gym this evening and surprisingly there was no protest about that other than a little complaint that Bob “doesn’t know what he’s doing”. I assured her it would be just a leg stretching routine and made sure Bob understood that. Janet and Bob returned with news of a good workout and Janet even said “it wasn’t terrible”.

There was more evidence of short term memory gain as we chatted with Andrew on Skype. When asked about the weekend Janet explained that it was our anniversary and we went out and she got something. She was still unable to fill in the details but the main points were there without prompting. She did get some detail correct as she talked about swimming today. I prompted her to say what her main achievement was in the pool today and Janet responded without hesitation, “my main achievement was walking the whole way…”. She was confused as to how to say length of the pool so came up with a few weird variations but she knew what she was talking about and accepted my praise better this time too.

As the day wore on I noticed changes in Janet’s speech, almost as though her tongue got swollen. She remained bright and responsive but as she tired, a little Klingon appeared from time to time so it will be interesting to see what the Dilantin levels are and I’m curious as to how hydration affects that drug and it’s side effects. There may be more reason for Janet to drink lots of water. Just a thought.

Praying for a restful night that provides lots of energy for an active and fun day tomorrow.

New Janet? Big change from yesterday. #TSJ

Apparently all the sleep Janet has been getting lately is paying off. Hopefully the reduction in Dilantin is helping too. I say this because the Janet I hung out with this afternoon is much improved from the one I saw over the last week or so. Jess told me Janet was laying down when I got to Connect and she had chosen to nap before I came to visit as she wanted to hang out with me. She had been down for an hour so I left her for another hour then went in to wake her so we could Skype Cam. Janet immediately started laughing about how she wasn’t sleeping and was expecting me. I could tell right away that she was way brighter than yesterday. Her voice was loud and the words she was using were real words that I could understand. It sometimes took her a few tries to get the right words but there was no Klingon present.

Our Skype conversation with Cam went really well as he was able to tell Janet about his sports successes and discuss his school plans for the next few months. Janet was tuned in and engaged the whole time needing very little help from me. It was very nice to witness.

Keeping the momentum going I asked Janet if she wanted to go to the gym before dinner or after. She of course said neither but with only a little reasoning she agreed to go before. Rikki took her and Janet returned smiling and saying she had a good workout. Rikki hadn’t worked with Janet for a while and was excited about the improvement she sees. She gave a glowing report which was really encouraging for me to hear and I’m sure Janet benefited from hearing the positive news as well.

Dinner was ready, so down to the kitchen we went and Janet obediently drank her cup of water before eating. Who is this person? With a little prompting she even talked to Fred, especially after he guessed I was fifty and Janet was forty. New best friend.

Our evening Skype call to Andrew was not quite to level of the one with Cam but still pretty good. I can tell Janet is processing information better now, maybe not retaining it any more but in the moment she seems to understand things better. She was wearing out after talking with Andrew and wanted to watch a little TV before bed. She actually told me at eight o’clock that she wanted to stop the TV and go to bed. Very responsible.

Today’s Janet really brightened my day and restored my hope that she can deal with this Dilantin crap. This Janet is the one that can work hard at getting better and make progress and I pray she is here to stay. Praying also for a restful and healing night with lots of energy for tomorrow’s tasks and learning opportunities.

Sick Day. Janet still under the weather. #TSJ

Janet had a good sleep last night only waking once that I know of and that was with a smile. Same thing happened this morning but she didn’t want to get out of bed. I convinced her to sit up and drink some water and take her meds. That went well then she went back to sleep for an hour or so.

After that little nap she seemed to have a more energy and managed to sit by the fire and eat half a bagel with jam and drink a cup of water. She started nodding off an hour later and I put her back to bed. That’s pretty much the way the day went. Sleep for a bit, wake up for a bit, sit by the fire then go back to bed. All in about one hour rotations. At times her speech was reasonable and at times it was complete Klingon and she seemed to know that but couldn’t do anything about it. I tried to always ask questions that only required a one or two word response as sentences were pretty much impossible. Throughout the day she ate and drank well considering the way she was feeling and she was really good about taking her meds. I didn’t push the toileting routine on her today and she didn’t seem to want to bother with it. Not much happening there anyways.

By late afternoon Janet had perked up enough to sit and have popcorn with me while watching some basketball and a little while after that she gobbled down a couple pancakes while we watched The Princess Diaries. She didn’t make it through the whole movie but that was her longest awake stretch of the day.

On the drive back to Connect I actually got a smile from Janet and a little singing to The Most Beautiful Girl in the World by Charlie Rich and she stayed awake the whole trip. Things deteriorated rapidly once there though. Last week we switched her Dilatin to pills from a liquid and apparently the pharmacy can only do her dosage in five separate pills. It has been a battle to get Janet to swallow that many pills at bedtime and tonight was the ultimate. With her not feeling well and being tired and with me not at the top of my game things broke down in a hurry. What to me should take less than a minute took twenty complete with tears from Janet and impatience from me. I’ve requested a change back to liquid so as to avoid a repeat of tonight.

This weekend has taught me a lot. Janet and I were disappointed we didn’t make it to Calgary Friday but even she appreciated being sick at home as opposed to a hotel room somewhere. Today there was a blizzard in Calgary and who knows what the drive out of there would have been like. We were clearly meant to be here this weekend.

Today was difficult for me as there wasn’t much I could accomplish. At least that’s how I was feeling and when it came time to drop Janet off at Connect I was thinking ahead to what I could get done upon my return home. When Janet had trouble taking her meds the delay angered me and I blamed her. She did nothing wrong. She’s sick, she’s tired, she just wanted to go to bed. There was no way to avoid the pills tonight but there was certainly a way I could have helped her, by remembering that Jesus is in control here, not me. I am merely His servant living out the commitment I made to Janet almost ten years ago. By hitting bottom a little bit tonight I realized that the enemy is constantly trying to get at us and I won’t allow that.

With the help of some yogurt Janet got the pills down and was finally able to lay down for the night. I had my jacket on, ready to leave, but felt prompted to stay so asked her if she wanted me to lay beside her for a bit. I heard the sweetest “yes” I’d heard in a long time and watched her fall asleep through watery eyes.

The goals for this week are; ensure that Dilatin is the right anticonvulsant drug for Janet and is not producing negative side effects. If Dilatin is ok then confirm Janet is on the right dose. Discover the cause of the reappearance of Klingon. Confirm Janet has a “cold”.

Truly praying for a restful night of healing and a bright day of recovery tomorrow.

A Reason for Everything. Janet under the weather. #TSJ

Our day started off great. Janet slept well last night and was pretty chipper this morning enjoying our breakfast time together. She enthusiastically helped start the purge of her closet for our morning activity and had a good chuckle over some of the things we found. Some things I’ve never seen her wear before and I’m glad of that. She was able to say goodbye to a lot of stuff and we only did one half the closet.

Lunchtime came and Janet was starting to fade. Even at the height of her chipperness this morning I noticed her speech was mostly in Klingon. She was fine with one or two words but when she tried to put a sentence together it came out a real mess. Not scrambled words at all but unidentifiable ones. I am a little concerned about this as I’ve noticed it happening throughout this past week.

Janet did not fade too rapidly and agreed to go for a walk as it was quite the nice warm day here. We were out for over an hour enjoying the sun and mild temperatures. Really nice to be doing that again.

That was about it for Janet today. As planned, it was nap time after our walk, 3:00, and after the usual “why are you putting me to shelter?” complaint (shelter is not the usual word) she was asleep in minutes and stayed that way till after five. In fact she is still in bed as I write this and I suspect will be for the night. She says she’s not feeling well but has no specific complaint. She wakes up a couple times an hour and each time her speech is better. She’s managed some water and her dinner time meds so I’m thinking the sleep and rest is all good healing and tomorrow she will stay chipper all day. I’m glad she is doing this at home rather than a Calgary hotel room so there’s one silver lining from yesterday’s adventure.

Despite the enormous rest she’s already had I’m still praying for a restful night as Janet clearly needs it. Also praying for a bright and chipper day tomorrow.

Coming Back #TSJ

Janet woke up just after six tonight and slowly started to brighten up. I got a few verbal responses from her but her voice was very quiet and the words she was saying were mostly Klingon. I did get a whispered “yes” and some facial expressions to a few questions. After ten minutes of her eyes being open I sat her up on the side of the bed to see if she could tolerate that and she did well considering how groggy she was still. Janet didn’t outright say so but I got a strong indication she wanted to go back to Connect so I asked the nurses to change her and we got her dressed. Janet put up with the tossing and turning required for all that to happen and before you knew it her I V was unhooked and I lifted her into a wheelchair. The nurses kept an eye on her while I retrieved the car then wheeled Janet out to it. She helped me get into and out of the wheelchair by putting her left arm over my shoulder. That’s a good sign to me.

The car ride back to Connect was slow and steady as the roads were a little slippery but not as bad as yesterday. Janet was visibly happy to be back and gave the gang a little smile when we walked in on their poker night. I wheeled her straight to her room and Dani got a tube feed going for her. Hopefully that’s just for tonight. With Janet tucked in, I laid beside her for an hour till she fell asleep and I expect a good nights rest and a strong day of recovery tomorrow.

I’m very appreciative of the staff at KGH and Connect as their response and action today could not have been better. Janet’s nurse most of the day was a young guy named Chris who was working his first day in the hospital. After a bit of a nervous start he did a great job. Thanks again to Kiko! So nice to come home to a fed dog and a shoveled driveway. You are amazing!

Praying for rest and healing tonight and strong recovery tomorrow. Thanking Jesus for continuing to place the right people into our lives at the right time.